curry favor

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Originally from a French poem Roman de Fauvel, written in the early 1300s; Fauvel was a conniving stallion, and the play was a satire on the corruption of social life. The name Fauvel points to the French fauve ('chestnut, reddish-yellow, or fawn'), another sense of fauve meaning the class of wild animals whose coats are at least partly brown, and the medieval belief that a fallow horse was a symbol of deceit and dishonesty. The phrase curry Fauvel, then, referred to flattering the horse, and was turned by later speakers into curry favor.

Verb[edit]

curry favor

  1. (idiomatic) To seek to gain favor by flattery or attention.

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